tv Book Discussion CSPAN December 21, 2014 6:30pm-7:31pm EST
[inaudible conversations] >> good morning. i'm michelle easton, president of the clare boothe luce policy institute, and i want to welcome you all to this special lunch featuring wayne thorburn and his great new book called "red state: an insider's story of how the gop came to dominate texas." now, you may be wondering why is the president of the clare boothe luce policy institute introducing a guest? well, it was almost 42 years ago when i came to washington, d.c. from new york after graduating from college. my first job was at young americans for freedom, and my first boss there was wayne
thorburn. [laughter] and ron robinson who asked me to do this introduction, ron and i have been friends with wayne and his good wife judith for decades. and wayne, by the way, was a very good first boss. wayne joined young americans for freedom as a college student in 1961 and eventually rose to become executive director when i worked for him. after running young americans for freedom for a number of years and getting his ph.d. in political science at the university of maryland, dr. wayne thorburn was a history professor at arkansas state university before he moved to texas. from texas he worked as an appointee in the departments of education and housing and urban development for presidents ronald reagan and george h.w. bush. he also served as a longtime board member of young americas foundation. and in 1978 when texas elected governor bill clements its first
republican governor in 104 years, wayne had been the executive director of the republican party for two years. i give you full credit, wayne. and wayne also oversaw the coordinated election of all statewide republican candidates for the first time. and texas has not voted for a democrat president now since 1976. think about it, how did that happen? in november 1960 the democrat party dominated texas. we had the new u.s. vice president, lyndon johnson. he was from texas. and democrats held all 30 statewide elected positions. the texas state legislature had 181 democrats and no republicans or no one else. and now everyone calls texas the red state. the book is really so interesting. i read it this weekend, i was on the road traveling, and i love how the book explains that for many years beginning in the
'40s texas election contests were between conservatives and liberals. and to gain control of the texas party, the liberals needed to drive the conservatives out of the democratic primaries. and the texas liberals succeeded in gaining control of the democrat party. so it was the liberals in the texas democrat party who actually helped with the strengthening of the republican party by deliberately driving the conservatives from their own party. as wayne says, be careful what you wish for, liberals. and let's hope wayne also talks about the texas governor's race just last month when texas attorney general greg abbott beat democrat liberal feminist wendy davis by 20 plus percent of the vote. watching that race here from virginia i thought it had to be about the time when she ran that astounding ad on tv of her opponent, greg abbott, his empty wheelchair that the race turned around for good.
so now to talk about this transformation of texas, how it took place and the future, please join me in welcoming dr. wayne thorburn. [applause] >> thanks. thanks very much. great, appreciate it. >> [inaudible] >> i think so. i think my microphone is on, is it not? yes, great. well, listen, i want to thank not only michelle for that great introduction and ron for allowing us to have this opportunity to get together and talk a little bit about "red state," a book that came out the first of september and i think you're going to get a copy of, those who wish to have one as you leave, and i'll be glad to sign them after, after the presentation for those who would like a signed copy. the one thing i do regret though, michelle, is the mention of all those years makes me feel even older than i actually am or maybe it makes me realize my
actual age. but, yes, it has been a lifetime of involvement in conservative and republican politics beginning in college those many, many years ago. and working with ron at young americans for freedom and ron pearson who was on the board, and i'm also honored to have my dissertation adviser here, dr. don devine, who was at that time an associate professor at the university of maryland where i did my graduate work. but what i'd like to talk to you a little bit about today is about texas, and that's basically the thrust of what this book is about as michelle indicated. what i tried to do in here in the first couple of chapters for those of you who either are not that familiar with texas, have never lived there or really want to get a better background on the state, the first couple of chapters really go into a discussion of the population,
religion, racial and ethnic makeup of the state, the political culture of the state, the different geographical areas, the economy. and so i think if you're not that familiar, the background there in the first couple chapters goes into what makes texas rather unique and what is distinct i about the state -- distinctive about the state of texas. from that point on, i really stress the changes that have happened since 1960 in texas politics, in texas political culture to some extent and the whole political environment in the state of texas. michelle kind of gave you a clue to what the situation was, and so i'll just restate very briefly what she said, that in 1960 the democrats were, as we say in high cotton. they had once genre covered -- again recovered the electoral college votes from texas. if you remember, eisenhower was
able to carry texas with the support of the conservative democrat establishment in both 1952 and 1956. and so by 1960 democrats were able with jack kennedy to recover the electoral college votes from texas. they had both senators, they now had the vice president from texas, lyndon johnson. and as michelle quickly pointed out, of the 181 members of the state senate and state house, there was not a single republican. the only republican in any significant office in the whole state of texas other than maybe two or three justices of the peace -- i don't even think there was a county commissioner or certainly not a county judge who was a republican in any of our 254 counties. the only republican of any office was a congressman by the name of bruce alger from the dallas area. and he was the lone, single
republican. now, just to flash forward to 2014 and what is the situation in texas? it's totally different. this year of all 29 statewide officials that when they were elected were elected as republicans for every election since 1996, there's not been a democrat elected to statewide office since 1994. that's 20 years of 29, because we elect a whole slew of judges statewide in texas. so there are 29 elective positions statewide. every single one of them over the last 20 years was elected as a republican. in the state among the congressional delegation not only are the two senators republican, but 25 of the 36 congressmen, the largest contingent of republican congressmen from any one state are the 25 from texas. in the state legislature, the
state senate is 20-11. republican, the house is 98-52. almost 2 to 1 in both houses. and in this election, we picked up seats in all three, in congress, the state senate and the state house. most interesting is what was happening over the last year and what the media was portraying as supposedly happening in texas. those of you who follow politics will know that there was a lot of discussion in early 2013 of the formation of a group called battleground texas. and battleground texas was an organized effort by some obama organizers who had been heading up organizing for america, the obama kind of front group and had organized field work in ohio also for obama in the 2012
election. well, they were able to get a few million dollars from some wealthy democratic contributors and organized their effort to change texas and make it -- to turn texas blue. their group was called battleground texas, and they were designed specifically to increase turnout by registering more voters who were currently not registered and then turning them out in the election. their particular emphasis was on hispanics because in our state the voting participation rate of hispanics is much lower than it is for anglos or for african-american voters. so they went about this effort and got an awful lot of media attention of how they were going to do what they had been successful in doing with the obama campaign nationally and
turn texas no longer into a republican state, but into one that at least leaned and had possibilities for the democrats to win. they went about doing this until, lo and behold, a media star was created, and that was state senator wendy davis. and wendy davis in the closing days of the state legislature undertook a filibuster of a bill that was putting restrictions on abortion services in the state of texas. and through that one effort, she became a kind of a bicoastal hero of the liberal element. and so wendy davis got elevated into major or personality -- major personality in texas. and subsequently announced that she was going to run for governor. and solo and behold -- so lo and behold, here was the great hope
of the liberal democratic element in the state to start making texas blue. they were going to elect wendy davis. well, battleground texas quickly changed its emphasis. it had originally been, as i indicated, a long-term effort to register more voters, to turn them out, to get them part of the overall electorate in the state and, therefore, change the electorate and make it more democratic. or -- well, along comes wendy davis. they decide that they're going to latch onto the davis campaign and, indeed, from about july of 2013 on they become almost an affiliate of the davis campaign. they move their headquarters from the state capital of austin to fort worth which was her home base and become kind of the field operation for the wendy davis campaign. one of their big mistakes,
matter of fact, i think was latching onto one candidate rather than taking the long-term approach. so anyway, given that background davis runs for governor, and there were certain early signs that maybe battleground texas wasn't doing quite as well as everybody was hyping them up in the media. and the first one was when filing deadline came for candidates for 2014, november's election, lo and behold, there were a whole slew of offices in texas where neither battleground, nor anyone else in the democratic party could find anyone to run for office. if you can believe it, of the 254 counties in texas -- and we have a slew of counties, some of them are very small and some of them have, like, five million people like harris county and some have less than a hundred -- but of those 254 counties, no
democrat could be found who was willing to put their name on the ballot to run for county judge which is the chief elected official in county government in texas. no democrat could be found in 165 of the 254 counties. the end result come november is that, basically, roughly 200 of the 254 counties now have a republican county judge. heading up county government. total, total shiftover from what we saw back in the '60s and the '70s. then came the primary, and two things bad happened for the democrats in their primary. we have an open primary. we don't register by party in texas, so anyone had the opportunity if they were so inclined to go vote in the democratic primary. well, the first problem was in 22 small counties, they couldn't find anyone to hold a primary.
and so voters in those 22 -- in texas it's the responsibility of the political party to put on the primary. it's not a function of the government, so it's not available everywhere like the regular election is in november. and in 22 counties they couldn't find anyone to hold a democratic primary. so voters in those counties had no opportunity even to participate in choosing the democratic nominee because there was no primary. that was the most that's ever been. and as michelle pointed out, historically what had been the case is the democratic primary had been the big enchilada. i mean, that's where people decided between the liberals and the conservatives and chose who was going to be the office holder. but in these counties they couldn't find anyone to hold the primary. then comes the primary, and media star wendy davis loses 29 counties to someone who was a
local county, not even a county, but a local municipal judge who had no money, had no name recognition and yet he beat wendy davis in 29 counties, mainly along the mexican border. he had an hispanic name, and i'm sure that was ap appeal. -- an appeal. but it also sent warning signs to davis that maybe there were going to be a little more problems than they thought they were going to have in turning all these supposedly new hispanic voters to the democratic side. the other amazing characteristic of that 2014 democratic primary is the turnout. there were roughly a little under 500,000 -- i think it was like 455,000 people who voted in the democratic primary. and so i went back and i said, gee, you know, let me look back and see how, how much of a significance -- i know that's less than they had in '12, and
it's less than they had in '10, and let's go back and see how far one has to go to find that small a turnout in the democratic primary. unbelievably, the answer was 1920. 1920 was the last year that fewer people voted in the texas democratic primary. now, to keep that in perspective, a population of the state of texas in 1920 according to the census was 4.7 million. the population of texas estimated today is north of 26 million. so the last time they had so few voting, there was less than five million people in the state, and now there's 26 million. that gives you an indication of the failure of battleground texas in terms of registering voters, motivating them and turning them out as democrats when they have a primary with the fewest number since 1920.
so what happened then on election day? well, y'all know that greg abbott defeated wendy davis for governor. you probably also recall that john cornyn was reelected to the united states senate. the interesting fact about how seriously difficult the democrats find themselves in is that wendy davis was able to obtain only 38.9% of the vote, okay? much lower than the previous democratic candidates who hadn't had all the publicity and all the hoopla surrounding their effort. and so davis got 38.9% and and lost by over 950,000 votes. that was the difference between her and attorney general abbott. even more significant, of the 12
statewide democratic candidates on the ballot, wendy davis had the highest percentage and lost by the smallest margin. so in other words, as bad as she was, she was the best that they could do. and that is a change from some of the past elections where lower-level democrats drawing upon the traditional support for the democratic party had done better than perhaps the top level candidate. so the best that they could do was 38.9%, the best that they could do is lose by 950,000 votes. even more significant perhaps for the long term is that in 110 counties of the 254, greg abbott got 80% plus of the vote. 80% plus. eight out of every ten voters in those counties voted for abbott.
even more impressive, of course, was cornyn who had a weaker opponent, and he had over 80% in 134 of the 254 counties. i've already told you what the breakdown was after the election in both congress and the legislature and in the county judges, overwhelmingly republican. well, why did this happen, how did this come about, and is there any lesson that can be learned from this that's applicable in other parts of the country? there is certain unique factors to texas, and we have to recognize that. first of all, texas -- the population of texas is conservative and has been conservative, at least the predominant view of most texas texans would classify themselves as conservative. if you ask people generally speaking do you consider yourself a conservative, moderate, liberal, anywhere from
45-50% of the people in texas over time will say conservative. only about 20% will say liberal, and the other 30% roughly will say, yeah, i'm somewhere in between or, you know, i don't know what i am, or i'm a moderate or what it may be. so one of the real problems as you can see of battleground, and wendy davis was coming across as the national hero appealing to an electorate where only roughly 20% of the people think of themself as liberal. one author calls it cowboy conservativism. and i think that's probably an accurate expression of two traits and two strains of political opinion that is present in the state of texas. one is the frontier, kind of the more individualistic attitude that is present in much of the people of texas that was there from the early days of settlement, particularly in west texas.
where everyone was on their own, and they had to solve their own problems because really there was no organized society in much of the areas of west texas and central texas. and so to fight off the indians, to build their home, to solve their disputes with other people and neighbors, they had to do it on their own. it was the attitude, the frontier attitude of self-reliance and the ability to solve one's own problems and not rely on government or some other institution. the second strain in political belief comes over the from the culture of the old south. and that's because much of the settlement in east texas was by hemowho moved from tennessee -- people who moved from tennessee, alabama, mississippi and ore states that -- other states that brought with them that tradition
of family values, of doing things the way one has always done them, of not fixing things unless they're broken, you know? why fix it unless it's broken? that's not the way we do it around here. those kind of attitudes that came with that more traditionalistic attitude. and through a combination of the individualistic comes this cowboy conservativism that is really the dominant political culture in texas. and it's dominant not just in rural areas, but in the large cities as well. texas, of course, is in terms of religious values is not only strongly catholic, but it's the largest representation of southern baptists. and, again, that's an indication of this traditionalist southern culture, because here you have a religious denomination that's present in all 50 states now but
still has as its first name the word "southern," indicating again the importance of that tradition that is important to them. another factor that's influenced texas is population growth. texas, as i indicated just from those figures from 1920 to the present, has grown phenomenally. and much of the growth took place during the 1960s and 1970s but has continued. both in-state population growth, natural birth growth, but also migration. and the net migration figures for texas amount to about two million new residents net migration every decade. probably the most significant period of net migration was in the 1971-1980 period, the period when the republican party was
starting to make real growth in the state. and migration into the state has been an important factor and continues to be. there was an interesting comment by a political observer in texas recently. he indicated that in the last two years the republican party of texas has been able to get a list of new registrants. i don't know how they do it, i guess it's from utility hook-ups or whatever. and from that they did a survey of people moving into the state of texas and newly registered as voters. ask they found that when -- and they found that when they asked them what was their inclination in terms of voting behavior, 56% said they were most likely going to vote republican. much different than what this whole battleground texas approach was supposed to be, that new registrants were going to be democrats and help turn
the state blue. and his observation is, and i've noticed it in some other comments by liberals after the election, is that texas has become a magnet for people who believe in free enterprise, you know, opportunity for job growth, for private enterprise, for entrepreneurship and for low taxes, limited government services. ask so we have been a-- and so we have been attracting over the last several years those kinds of people who share a conservative philosophy and a conservative view of government to the state. and meanwhile, there are some indications that what's happening is that those who don't agree with that outlook and want more government services and want more spending are moving away from the state. and so this migration pattern that continues today is working to solidify the red nature of
the state of texas rather than changing it in a direction towards the democrats. now, population growth was certainly a factor even in the 1970s and the 1980s and the growth of the republican party. there was a survey done in the 1970s of county chairman. 90% of the democratic county chairmen in the state had been born in texas, roughly half of republican county chairmen or were new residents of texas, had moved there in the last 25 years. migration, a big factor in terms of building a base of support for the party. there were certain individuals who played a key role, and those are ones that you would probably know. the first one was john tower. because right after that 1960 democratic victory that we talk about here, lyndon johnson had been elected to two offices.
he had been reelected a united states senator, and he'd been elected vice president of the united states. and he couldn't hold both offices, so he had to resign his position as united states senator, ask that caused a special -- and that caused a special election that in may of 1961 elected john tower as the first republican senator since reconstruction in any of the southern states, not just texas. and tower was elected in a kind of a quirky, interesting way, because he was running against a conservative democrat, a man by the name of bill blakely who had been appointed to the senate vacancy until the election, who then ran for the election and lost in a runoff to tower. ..
they then continued in the subsequent elections and other officers none of which the republicans able to win. so, what shall indicate the speaker for you wish for. but the liberals were able to do in the 60s and 70s by giving support to the republican candidates even though those candidates lost, they helped gain control of the factor that gained them control in 1976 is not someone in texas but someone from california and that was ronald reagan and when he ran
for the republican nomination in 1976 and when they made the tracks in a positive way many of these democrats otherwise would have been voting on the democratic primary and so in 1976 under roughly half a million people voted in the republican primary between and that allowed them to gain control. the result then in 1978 is they were able to defeat a democratic governor and nominate a liberal democratic candidate for governor but by then they had become a viable alternative and so what happened is they lost to demand the named bill clinton who became the first governor in 104 gears to serve in texas.
so you can see if you try to purify the party and kick out of those with whom you don't agree the result may be all that you are doing is benefiting the opposition and that is certainly what happened to the liberals were able to gain control of their party but really since 1976 they've been able to win nothing in the state even though they control a party organization. now what are some of the lessons that could be applied in other places? you have to mentor new possible candidates, officeholders and government officials. one of the great things that he did during his time in office he attracted the number of younger people to a staff in as
volunteers and campaign operatives who then went on and became candidates for public office themselves as republicans having been made toward and develop their political skills with other united states senator and his operation and so subsequently offers younger individuals that eventually became elected as the county judge in harris county and the city of san antonio. others were elected with others who served on the staff who had been mentor so what he did is build a contrary of younger workers and supporters who then became candidates and public
officials and that is one thing we have to keep in mind. you can't just invite a candidate at the top of the ticket. you have to build from the ground up and attract new people and train them and recruit them to the candidates. the second thing that is present in texas and unfortunately from my perspective only about 12 states have it ended and if it is that that is that they allow the straight ticket vote and by that i need when you mean when you go in and look at the ballot, the first thing is do you want to build a straight ticket libertarian greenbacks if you do come in either market or pressing a button of whatever voting machine you might have you make an indication that's what you're going to do. and with that automatically does this for every candidate of the party on the ballot is cast a vote for them. you can go in and override individual voters to decide i
want to vote all republican before county commissioner i want to vote for the democrat when you get down to the democratic imagery you can go to democrats but what it does is automatically puts a vote in the republican column and therefore there is no. when you vote straight ticket every one of those candidates right down to the bottom of the party is voted. since about 20004360% of the votes cast a straight ticket. so, it's become the dominant method of the voting for people in the state. the republican party republican
party had a straight majority on the ticket vote and as one observer indicated a. is there a distinction between the between debate over command of the democratic party i certainly think there is and i think that in almost every race and every election the difference between the two parties is such that the republican party candidate is good to be more conservative than the democratic candidate. it may not be your conservative but it's more than he or she in
the democratic candidate. and so, there is the certainty of voting a straight ticket if you are voting in in a position that's consistent with your philosophy whatever it may be. and so the republican party of texas has really pushed for the voting and it's been a great benefit in the last election among the straight ticket voters romney beats obama by 500,000 votes along the straight ticket voters. he did beat obama even more among those people that didn't vote straight ticket, but there is a whole chunk of votes that are automatically not only for the top of the ticket but for every one of your down ballot candidates that are supporting your party candidates. and so i would encourage other states even if they don't have the ability to cast a straight
vote, they emphasize voting on the party take it as a ticket as a means of holding their down ballot candidates where individuals otherwise might not know the attributes of the individuals. as a third thing that has been successful in texas is outreach and recruitment. the state has emphasized under the leadership of the chairman and a former member and director emphasizing which not just at election time but on a continuing basis for the various ethnic and racial communities in the state presenting themselves as interested in the attitudes, values, the interest of the individuals of all kinds of background and the state of
texas and through the candidate recruitment, we've been able to greatly increase the number of hispanic candidates and is of not only the candidates but officeholders. at the present time there are in the state the hispanic republicans, to lack republican state representatives. they had three black republicans and one asian and in congress we have one hispanic congress and serving his third term and upon in the african-american congressman. among the hispanic voters they received 44% of the vote on the race for governor.
he got a majority of the hispanic vote. so is there an opportunity to reach out to the new communities and new environments and voter groups? yes and are they doing in texas i think they are and i think it's important that we do that across the country and reach into other areas of the needle toledo sometimes campaign not only in certain communities. one of the things that steve has done since he was elected state chairman in 2010 is he has brought together the various elements in the party all working together in one concerted effort so that his effort has been successful when he was up with the 2014 state convention no one even ran against him for the office of the chairman, all sides and parties recognized that he was
keeping everyone together and working together on a single goal. it's remembering ronald reagan that he would rather have somebody that voted with an 80% of the time than someone that voted against him 100% of the time. and when we start looking within the area of inclusiveness in the party, it's even broader than the various racial and ethnic groups. it's others, too. we have to look at what happened when they try to come to you to exclude conservatives yes they got control of the party. at the time they were calling the liberals the democratic wing of the democratic party, kind of an echo in some circles today on
the republican side. they didn't have the term, but i think that is exactly what they were doing. they were talking about people that they thought were democrats and short they were able to get control of the organization but in so doing, they lost control of the state politics. let me stop. that will give some thoughts on my texas has been successful and maybe even a few pointers on what can be applied in other parts of the country and if you have questions, i'd be i would be glad to answer some questions. costco. >> i recently have read and brought over again the book called the blueprint.
it's called how colorado turned blue and it's interesting because you talk about battleground texas and how it is extremely successful the efforts imperative ten or 15 years ago used to be read and then this one blew. looking at how texas has been so successful keeping the state read how did you think something like that can be applied to a state like texas or colorado this one from large the grand canal pretty blue >> at least purple. >> texas had an advantage. back to the political culture of the state, texas basically was conservative and is conservative and so, what really happened in our state is the republican party became labeled and
identified as the conservative party in the state. as the democrats lost control and became more liberal, they were out of touch with the views of people. i don't know, i take that they did a tremendous job in the election. i keep forgetting which is which. mark udall was on this women's rights issues into the overkill of his own position and i think that really helped. i go back to some of the points i said. the grassroots recruitment, and both both that and the various communities you can get involved in not just any election time
and i think that certainly there is a sizable growing population in colorado and i would be looking for individuals that are possible candidates from that community and outreach to the civic organizations and religious organizations in the hispanic community now. whether we like it or not we are all ideological people coming and we think in terms of conservatism. sometimes we have to render the average voter looks at them and attach broader way and it may be racial and ethnic religious and other factors that cause people to vote and therefore if you can't attract someone from that community to be part of the candidate come you're going to get only the people who would normally vote republican, but those that are voting because he
is one of us. somebody that we can relate to come and we think that person will reflect our values because he is like us or she is like us. like a. >> we have a couple of questions. first, even though the liberal wing of the democratic party may have hurt themselves in texas did you find that they contributed to what would have to be a successful liberal domination of the democratic party asian white? worthy contributors to that and then the second question is you seemed a bit sustainable of the strategy. but that the strategy and has the persecution of the persecution perhaps the sound of the way of governor perry contributed or subtracted from the democratic image in the state of texas. >> good point. let's take the second one first.
i don't think that it's affected at all. >> where we live in austin which is best described as a blue dot in the redwood city, that's where this prosecution has taken place. so most people that are neutral or objective are pretty much dismissive of the charges against particularly the charges against. and as you know they were thrown out. i don't think it's affected anything politically. i don't think that it's in texas where he's standing but neither has it hurt the democrats. now nationally coming yes. certainly there were some figures that have to move to democratic party nationally and so yes they help their processing certainly the moving
of the democratic party nationally to the left was a negative influence among the texas voters. >> i have two questions. the first one being what is the battleground texas a big mistake by putting itself with wendy davis. what are the prospects moving forward and are they getting smarter or are they still going to have their wallets open to them especially the prospects moving forward and i guess my second question would be there has been a conservative liberal fight within the republican party recently. we've had groups like the speakers members and stuff like that and i'm just wondering we are seeing the fight and moving forward in the future. >> let's talk about battleground. one of the strategies is to register or voters particularly hispanic. there is all of this hype about
how it is an unknown point in the future. ten years, 20 years. it's going to become democrats. they are not going to have any success. now, for those of you that do fund raising for political organizations, you can be the thought that if you can try to present it to the donors because it is a scare tactic and ensure that it works the reality is it's based on all kinds of assumptions that i think are very questionable. and i will give you three reasons why i think those are questionable assumptions and again it may not be applicable everywhere else. assimilation, intermarriage and the organization. a simulation, the more and more generations have become affiliated in the american society, the more assimilated they are and the more they are
going to share the values of others and attitudes. intermarriage come and in this election they were in a statewide hispanic candidates. one democrat and one republican. the democrats named that's not in my book. the republican hispanics name, bush. i asked the question of what is going to happen to their children and grandchildren ten or 20 years from now they may think of themselves as hispanics. what other kids if they marry we don't have them, we have angle is. what are they going to become are they going to think of themselves as hispanics? i don't know nor do they use making all of those predictions about the future. the third thing is the suburbanization. the more successful, what do they do they go to the move out
to the suburbs and would have been. the counties that surround the suburban counties in the census bureau and the natural publican area in dallas fort worth, san antonio, 29 counties. every one of those 29 has a republican county judge. every one of those 29 has a republican majority and sometimes zero on the county commissioners court and other county officials. so, if you are hispanic and you fewer successful and you move out of dallas or houston and go to one of these suburbs and low and behold the primary comes around and there are democratic candidates and all of your neighbors have yard signs for the republican candidates at all of the candidates everybody is voting in the republican primary, what are you going to do maybe you will not vote at
all. maybe that is why there is a low voter turnout. or i want to figure out who might county commissioners going to be and i'm going to vote in the primary. once you do that but is that going to lead you to do. it's going to be statewide in the fall. i can't say what's going to happen but neither can those that are getting all of these predictions about how the state is going to become democratic because the state is going to become the majority hispanic. the other other point about the internal disputes coming yes, there are those. we have a speaker by the name of joe strauss that comes from a longtime republican family. his mother was active in the party for years. i happen to have been the pleasure of being delegates from 1988 and she was the delegate and we sat next to each other and i've known her for some time, don't know joe all that well but he has been the speaker
now. he has lined up 70 of the 98 republicans have already come up so he's close to lining up to support. so far they haven't been successful. we have time for two questions. >> just a comment and then a question adding to your vocabulary on the straight party voting on this texas term of a dog democrat and the idea.
perhaps we are raising some good yellow dog republicans that this point. but the question is in the way that follows on that last point is that strain. ron paul came from texas. it was a joke and there was no threat but for god sake of my fellow graduate about 10% of the vote. so is there a threat but this appeal to the libertarian element if they don't manage to keep all of the threats together? >> there's always the possibility of the candidate implementing the election and those of you here in virginia and know that in the last gubernatorial race and i guess maybe even was it that close and the vote and the senatorial race
so yes there is always that possibility. but it doesn't seem to be a very strong viable libertarian party precedents. so yes it could be but so far it hasn't been. one more and then we better stop. >> how is the republican party doing in major cities in texas? >> if you look at houston we are doing pretty well and harris county is pretty much houston and a few little suburbs and i believe that there is a county commissioner. it's a republican stronghold. that is fort worth and arlington and we are giving it
disastrously in travis county which is austin and el paso and then we had a good year in electing judges but so it is viable but not that strong. the important thing to remember is those counties are coming down as a percentage of the overall vote. they are less today than they were ten or 20 years ago as a share of the overall vote. the tremendous growth has been in the suburbs. so that's the good part of it. >> there are books and lunch and i would be happy to sign books for anyone that would like one. >> we want to present you with
this tie ron is wearing today but it's an exclusive young americans for freedom tie. thank you for coming and we just wanted to offer that to you. [applause] hello everyone thank you for coming. i'm the spokeswoman for the young america's foundation. today you will all be receiving a free copy of the book right here and and there will be a book signing in the lobby which is come from injury as well and we also have a free lunch for you today [inaudible]